Spinner Rack: Linda Danvers - Movie Star! - Part 3

Posted by Joanna Sandsmark on 12/3/2013

This month, Joanna presents us with the thrilling conclusion to "Linda Danvers — Movie Star!"

Last month we continued a doozy of a tale entitled, "Linda Danvers — Movie Star!" found in the back of Action Comics #372. As a quick reminder, Linda Danvers went to a taping of “The Date-Mate Show” and found herself as one of the contestants. She chose a man who turned out to be Brand Burton, movie star. He decides to take her to Hawaii for the weekend so she can watch him film his newest movie. They hop on a flight and watch Supergirl fight a Navy spider. (If you haven’t read Part 1, now would be a good time. It’s worth it for the spider alone.) Brand then announces that Linda will get to star in his movie! This is a thrill for Linda, but not so much for Brand’s leading lady, Zita Monroe. As soon as shooting begins, “accidents” begin to happen to Linda. She plays the witch doctor, so she walks across flaming coals. The special flower nectar, however, is replaced by pure water, courtesy of the very jealous Zita. Linda figures out who is behind it, but is undeterred. After all, she’s on her way to becoming a movie star!

The next morning, anticipating the day’s photo shoot on water skis, Zita puts "powerful acid" on the towrope. Somehow I don't think that's going to bother Supergirl too much. Sure enough, as Linda water skis behind the boat, the rope wobbles and then breaks. From the skis, Linda uses her x-ray vision to note that the tow rope has broken and that her "… super-vision shows that the fibers were tampered with!" She suspects Zita, as well she should. Undaunted, Supergirl simply flies behind the boat pretending to water ski and then puts up some spray so she can quickly reweave the rope at super speed. Zita is not happy when she sees the rope. She figures the saltwater washed the acid away. Note that once again our villain is coming up with the solution to what happened. First, she left a few drops of nectar in the gourd, now the salt water washed away the acid. Things are going well for Supergirl since Zita is falling for everything Linda throws at her.

In the afternoon, Linda has to dive from the top of a waterfall. I think it is about time to interject that Brand Burton was pretty darn lucky to have gotten a date with a young woman who is so “athletic” and courageous. She can dance, she can water ski, she can cliff dive — is there no end to her talents? Naturally, when Brand asks her if she can make the dive, Linda has one of those thought balloons that remind everyone she's really Supergirl. "As Supergirl, I could dive right down to the center of the earth. Ha, Ha!" While Brand warns Linda about red berries that act like poison ivy, Zita schemes. "This time I'm going to fix her … but good!"

Personally, I think Zita should leave the woman in the red cape alone. For one thing, Zita is never going to win. For another thing, she has a big possibility of being humiliated. And the final thing is Linda Danvers is a lovely young woman who is nice to everyone. She's also a college girl and big-movie-star Brand probably likes her a little more each time she faces adversity. And you, Zita, are adversity. So cut it out! (I hated Zita when I was a kid. The meanie!)

Naturally, she never listens to me. Every single time I read the story as a kid, she went to the jungle pool and pulled out a piranha that was imported for a scene that had been deleted. Please note, it is a single piranha. "A school of these man-eaters can strip an animal in seconds!" Yes, but a single fish is not a school. My little brother had piranhas. Spike and Hodji. They never tried to eat any of us. Well, not the humans. Spike did end up eating Hodji. Anyway, the point is that a single fish isn't really a big problem. It's a lot more dangerous to leap off a gigantic cliff into a small pool. That, however, seems to be okay for a game show contestant to do.

And do it she does! A perfect dive and lovely Schaffenberger art. When she's underwater, Supergirl notices the single piranha and figures that Zita planted him there. Then we get one of those caption call outs with a little arrow that says, "Oh-oh! Startled because of the fish, Linda has failed to check her dive, leaving a hand imprint in the soft volcanic rock." That will be tough to explain. The piranha tries to bite her foot and instead breaks off all its teeth. Linda makes a smooth move where she comes out of the water and manages to throw the fish out at the same time making it seem like the fish never found her. Zita is upset, naturally. Brand, however, is so happy with Linda's dive, that he grabs her and plants a big smooch on her. "MMMM! He really goes for me … The famous Brand Burton!" Yeah, I loved this panel when I was little. Such a fantasy — to have a handsome movie star fall in love with you while you're on your way to becoming a movie star and you have lots of superpowers on top of that. Nothing unachievable there, huh? While Brand puts the smooth moves on Linda, Zita calls him a cradle robber in her thoughts.

However, when she glances into the pool she gets a big smile on her face. She sees the handprint in the rock and assumes that Linda is Supergirl. (The fact that she’s walking around in a Supergirl costume doppleganger didn’t give her away, but a handprint suddenly makes it all clear. OK …) She finds that explanation does solve the mystery of the water ski failure and the walking on hot coals. This makes her very happy because she would get worldwide publicity if she exposed Supergirl's secret identity. She immediately tells Brand, who remembers the falling airplane and the stewardess. Luckily, Linda overhears them speaking and realizes she needs to throw them off track.

The next day, Brand sends Linda into a cave with a sacred python that she is supposed to tame with panpipes. Linda is as happy as she could be. It plays right into her plan. She goes up to the python, plays a couple of notes and then trips on the vines with red berries that grow near the entrance. The python attacks, coils around her, and drags her into its cave. Linda screams help and grasps a branch of berries.

And then we have one my favorite panels. Supergirl tickles the Python under his chin while he looks angrily at her and hisses. The film crew rushes to the cave where she has escaped from the snake. Zita is overjoyed and considers this the final proof that she is super. The film crew, however, laugh hysterically at the actress. Supergirl is covered in red blotches from head to toe, seemingly a victim of the poison ivy-like berry. And that is exactly what she wanted them to think.

Zita isn’t giving up quite yet. "But we saw the snake crushing you! How did you survive?"

"The music of the pipes lulled him to sleep," says Linda. "Actually, he's exhausted from trying to crush me!" she thinks. Thanks for clearing that up.

Claiming that the rash will keep her from doing the final hula, Linda asks Brand to rewrite the script and let Zita do it instead. Brand agrees and Linda's rival thinks, "Linda's a living doll! I don't deserve such kindness!" I have to admit that I agree with her. She doesn't deserve that kindness.

However, she does do a mean hula. Brand and Zita shake their money-makers while Linda plays the bongos. When Linda says her goodbyes the next day, Zita is all smiles and hugs. "Goodbye, Linda, dear. We'll expect you at the wedding … And remember, even if I knew for certain that you were Supergirl, I wouldn't tell a soul!" Yeah, because you really don't want to cross Supergirl anyway. The final panel shows Linda and her friends looking at a poster for the movie. They call her a movie star and Linda thinks, "They don't know it, but my Supergirl career comes first!" I wonder if you can study that in college? Does Stanhope have a superpower department? Probably not, but I'm sure they have a theater department. Linda could always switch majors. Okay, now I am wondering what her major actually was. Has that ever been in the comics? I am guessing … an English major. Just a guess.

That's the end of this story. If I read this once when I was a child, I probably read it 50 times. It spoke to me, full of wish fulfillment, romance, acting and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. I hope to see you back here next month with a brand-new story filled with silvery DC goodness!

If you'd like to learn more, including a detailed bio and more information about Joanna's books, please visit her website.

This is a guest article. The thoughts and opinions in this piece are those of their author and are not necessarily the thoughts of the Certified Collectibles Group.

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